Ragnar Relays: Simply the Biggest Relay Producer, release, note by Larry Eder



The Ragnar Relay Series is the largest series of overnight relay races in North America. I had met with the Ragnar team at the 2010 Running USA meeting and was quite impressed by what I had heard from participants and also from sponsors. I found this piece on their website, and thought RBR readers might enjoy learning about Ragnar. Nice to see companies developed from someone's dreams actually become reality!

image001_1.jpgPhotos courtesy of Ragnar Relays

What do I like about the relay concept? I remember my first relay, in 1976, the old Christmas Relays, from Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay, California. It was an incredible event, and I took part in the old West Valley Christmas Relays as well as the present Christmas Relays in San Francisco. The feeling of being part of a team, doing something a little goofy, but fun, is all part of the attraction.


Ragnar Relay Series Launches Four New Races for 2011


Nation's Top Provider of Overnight Relay Races to Host 15 Events in Nationwide Series


KAYSVILLE, UT November 29, 2010 - The Ragnar Relay Series presented by NordicTrack is expanding again this year to fifteen races in 2011, adding four more races to the schedule from last year. New races for 2011 include Florida Keys, Chicago, Napa Valley and Pennsylvania.


Ragnar Relay is the nation's top provider of overnight relay races, which is currently the fastest growing running category. The company not only hosts the most races across the country, but also produced the largest overnight relay in 2010 with a tremendous turn-out at Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back.



In 2010, more than 43,000 audacious runners experienced Ragnar Relays in Florida, Arizona, Southern California, New York, New England, Utah, Washington, Minnesota, DC, Nevada, and Tennessee. With the announcement of races in Napa, Chicago, Florida Keys and Pennsylvania, Ragnar Relay Series is expected to continue its exponential growth.  The series has projected more than 70,000 runners will participate in a Ragnar Relay race in 2011.


"We had a great year in 2010 and are thrilled to have added four more races to the Ragnar Relay family," said Dan Hill, Co-Founder of the Ragnar Relay Series. "The exciting 'team' concept is contagious and runners of all abilities are jumping at the chance to challenge themselves in a new and fun way."



Ragnar Relay Florida Keys kicks off January 7-8, 2011, providing a tropical running excursion beginning in Miami. The course takes runners south towards the Keys, hopping from Key to Key while taking in the ocean breeze, and passing through popular destinations such as Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon Key and finishing at the southernmost point in Key West.


Ragnar Relay Chicago, formerly the Madison-Chicago 200 (MC200) race, starts in Madison, Wisconsin, and takes runners through the cities of Waukesha and Milwaukee, finishing in Chicago the weekend of June 10-11, 2011.


Ragnar Relay Napa Valley begins in San Francisco on September 16th and will finish in Calistoga on September 17th. Runners will take in the views of San Francisco Bay while crossing the Golden Gate Bridge and race inland to experience the rolling hills and country roads to Napa, where runners will be surrounded by endless vineyards on the way to the finish line in Calistoga.


Ragnar Relay Pennsylvania, the 15th race in the national series, will kick off in Lancaster on October 7th and finish at the Pocono Mountain resort area on October 8, 2011. Along the course runners will pass through Pennsylvania Dutch country and farm communities while experiencing the beautiful fall colors of Eastern Pennsylvania. 


Runners who compete in Ragnar events are drawn to the sense of "team" experience which is typically missing from traditional marathon and other race formats. Each relay challenges teams of up to 12 runners on courses between 180 and 200 miles across some of the country's most breathtaking and scenic terrain. Runners conquer the miles in their costumes, decorated vans, and stamina with teammates, while turning heads and sparking curiosity across the country.

The Ragnar Relay Series was founded by childhood friends Hill and Tanner Bell. Hill and Bell together launched the first Ragnar Relay in Utah called the "Wasatch Back," a wild 188-mile relay race from Logan to Park City, in 2004. Today, with more than 13,000 runners, Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back has grown to be the largest running event in the state of Utah and the largest overnight running relay in the world.

"Tanner and I are thrilled every year as more and more people participate in Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back," said Hill. "This race is what started the desire for us to bring this running experience to more people across the country. As we see the level of excitement around Ragnar Relay Wasatch Back, we are anxious and excited to see more people participating in the other Ragnar Relay races across the country."


Each leg of a Ragnar race varies in difficulty so elite and novice runners can run together in teams. Each team is responsible for providing two support vehicles, with six runners in each vehicle. The first vehicle drops off the first runner and drives ahead to the first exchange point. Teams repeat this pattern for six legs until they hand off to their second vehicle. This leapfrogging pattern continues day and night all the way to the much anticipated finish line.


"We want every person who runs a Ragnar Relay to push themselves, have a blast, make memories, and most importantly, bring out the Norse King in all of them," said Bell. "Accomplishing a trek of nearly 200 miles is an exhilarating feeling, and it is even more memorable when friends, families, coworkers, or groups with a common cause accomplish it together."

The Ragnar Relay Series takes its name from a marauding 9th Century Norse King who fearlessly explored and conquered new lands. Runners competing in Ragnar events share the same free-spirited sense of adventure.


Each Ragnar Relay donates a portion of the proceeds to a local charity. Those interested in participating can register on the company's website.


About Ragnar Events, LLC

Ragnar Events, LLC was co-founded in 2004 by Dan Hill and Tanner Bell. The idea to run an overnight 24+-hour relay across the mountains of Utah was a lifelong dream of Dan Hill's father. The dream became reality when Dan Hill and his childhood friend Tanner Bell organized the first Wasatch Back Relay, spanning 188 miles from Logan to Park City, UT in 2004. Since 2004 the Ragnar Relay Series has grown from a single relay in Utah to the largest overnight relay series in the nation. The Ragnar Relay Series now has 15 races scheduled for 2011 and is growing every year. Ragnar Events, LLC is based in Salt Lake City, UT and managed by co-founders Dan Hill and Tanner Bell.

Visit www.ragnarrelay.com  for race dates and exact locations.

All photos courtesy of Ragnar Relays.



# # #

2011 Race Calendar.pdf

Leave a comment

Wake up to RunBlogRun's news in your inbox. Sign up for our newsletter and we'll keep you informed about the Sport you love.

Subscribe to RunBlogRun's Global News Feed

* indicates required